Pop Love Songs Updated For Middle-Age Marriages

by Nicole Leigh Shaw
Originally Published: 
An insert with Selena Gomez and the Scene from 'Love You Like A Love Song' music video with both rid...

But hold on, this story starts in the minivan.

I listen to a lot of pop radio in the car because I have children who like music sung exclusively by ex-Disney TV stars. I don’t mind today’s pop music. I even like most of it. But when I hear songs like Selena Gomez’s “Love You Like a Love Song,” I wonder, Where are the love songs for middle-aged married couples?

Let’s not get sidetracked by the fact that I’m 38. I know the older gals (holla, ladies) will tell me how young I am. My contemporaries will tell me, “We aren’t middle-aged! Fortysomething is the new 29-ish, even though my knee pops when I try to twerk, and I fall asleep after a second glass of wine.”

Ladies, ladies. The average lifespan of the American woman is 81, so, yes, this is middle age.

Still unconvinced? Riddle yourself this: Are you more excited about sex or coffee? Now you feel me.

There are benefits to having multiple decades behind us. If we’re middle-aged and married, we understand each other. We know his bad back makes certain bedtime adventures unsafe. He knows we aren’t putting on lingerie, but if he’s willing to slide us out of an oversized T-shirt, it’s on. It’s not all honeymoon nights and come-hither eyes, but we’re really good at finding each other’s spots, which matters because we’ve got 10 to 12 minutes tops until a kid or pet interrupts our coitus.

That’s why I find it hard to relate to pop love songs. It doesn’t help that I’ve watched Selena Gomez entertain my kids as a wizard of a place called Waverly, either. Take Ms. Gomez’s “Love You Like a Love Song” lyrics: “You are beautiful, like a dream come alive, incredible / A centerfold, miracle, lyrical / You saved my life again.”

Translation: We’re young and hot and maybe we should sex.

My life does not imitate her art. Here’s my revamp: “Love You Like a Milk Run”:

I forgot the milk

So you saved me again by getting some

While you’re at the store pick up PB, hon

Yes another one, so our kids can eat, when lunchtime comes

You’re a lifesaver, ’cause I’ve been to the store, two times now

Dependable, huggable, marital

When you get home, baby

We’ll sex after Netflix—maybe


I, I love you for getting a gallon

I, I love you for getting a gallon

I, I love you for getting a gallon

So I’ll be rubbing your feet-feet-feet-feet-feet-feet.

Selena isn’t the only one singing a song I can’t get into. If you’re a Taylor Swift fan (who isn’t?), you’ll recognize “Blank Space,” an angsty song about dating while off your psych meds. Fun? Sure is! Hook you can sing along to? You bet! Relatable to anyone too old to indulge the fantasy “Grab your passport and my hand / I could make the bad guys good for a weekend”? Nope. We have kids, pets and houseplants—we can’t just take off for the weekend.

By now, we are tired of drama and bad boys. Our blank spaces are reserved for books we haven’t read yet and long naps, which we miss more than we do our perky breasts.

What’s a song we in-the-middle girls can back? I give you “Blank Stare”:

I can’t see it. Where’s it gone?

Left my libido somewhere I swear

Nightstand? Closet? Push-up bra?

Used to be I was eager, oh my God

This is not me, yesterday I was 20

Sex drive has gone away-ay

New panties ’cause I try

I read about this in a magazine,

“How to Please an Aging Guy”

And I know it’s ’bout you and me

So hey, let’s stretch first

Surely it can’t get any worse

Then when we tried that GD swing

I couldn’t even stand straight for most of that weekend


This is gonna be forever

Or it’s perimenopause

Want to nap ’til it’s over

Think some lube will help the cause

Got a long list of desires

But just not in my loins

And I know you’d love some fire

Down in my groin


‘Cause we’re older than we once were

We could pull a hammy, sure

But I’m the madam to your sir

So lock the bedroom door

Got a long list of new ailments

Hormonal, not insane!

Explains this blank stare baby

Let’s try again?

Might I suggest grooving to Marvin Gaye, instead? “Let’s Get It On” starts with “I’ve been really tryin’, baby.” If that doesn’t sum up the middle-aged sex life, I don’t know what does. But do keep tryin’, because if there’s one thing about sex in your 40s that is better than sex in your 20s, it’s not having to explain to a 20-year-old what he’s doing wrong.

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